What a mockery.
The NFL mock draft season is well underway and a friendly but powerful reminder: Nobody. White. Something. Panting. Shocking. Really! NFL design analysts know about as much about which prospects are going where as they know how to change a flat tire on the Mars Perseverance rover. (Does it have tires?)
Until the card is handed in, dummy drafts are nothing more than informed (in some cases) speculation as well as opinion and conversation starters. We’re all hungry for NFL news. We all want something to talk about. We’re minions and sold out to Google anyway, and Google loves itself an NFL draft #content.
But the truth is: winter sucks and mock draft season is neatly tucked into the room after the Super Bowl and before the combine (or March Madness or Opening Day, if that’s your thing), offering a little warmth in a sea of utter nonsense. A little Biz Cliz secret: bogus drafts are speculative and boring, and therefore have as much value as a dollar contraceptive.
MORE NFL DESIGN: SN’s newest design | Top 50 prospects in 2021
Take Mel Kiper’s latest design as the latest example of this. For the first time in his career, Kiper created a draft that included trades !!! (This is a point that ESPN and its media machine will remind you ad nauseam today), and among them Kiper has:
- The Jets trade all the way up to number 4, choosing the narrow end of Florida, Kyle Pitts, the tallest ever picked.
- The Falcons vote BYU QB Zach Wilson in 2nd place.
- The 49ers trade and select Justin Fields.
- The Patriots are trading in the top 10 to get Trey Lance.
By the way, he also has’ Bama QB Mac Jones, who is inducted into the top 10 and goes to the Panthers.
Could all of these things happen? For sure. You, fair reader, could also move into the top 10 and become the league’s next big pass rusher.
Really, opinion is opinion and bogus drafts are not to be taken seriously, especially in February, two months before the NFL draft, before teams have a chance to meet with prospects and really get the draft rolling. If we had less integrity and really sold out for the #clicks, we could say Trevor Lawrence is out of the top 10 – and provide a Fugazian rationale for that. (That doesn’t happen just for the sake of integrity.)
Imagine this Twitter fallout.
Let’s be fair: after all, nobody is perfect at making mock drafts, and scouting analysis is very, very successful. Kiper and many other design analysts have likely spent hours on tape torturing themselves over a number of decisions. Let’s give Kiper the benefit of the doubt here and say that there may be a real attempt to think outside the box in the first round than what he thinks is legitimate.
The idea that this is the second of Kiper’s designs this season (with more) means that this is likely more speculation (and fun) than legitimate opinion. Probably. (Hopefully.)
Kiper has some big flaws in his career, most notably his Jimmy Clausen prediction in which he threatened (threatened?) To retire if Clausen wasn’t a successful NFL QB. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t and Kiper is still cashing checks.
Anyway, as you can imagine, Kiper, ESPN, and the Machine are all playing jerks (and that includes me here by the way, so put the Spider-Man pointer in where you want): we all talk about it, dissect it , injects it right into our veins as we navigate the barren part of the NFL’s off-season landscape, at least for the next several weeks. Imagine we’re playing like paint bucket drums in a NYC subway station.
Readers and fans, however, were less welcoming to Kiper’s newest mock-up.
ESPN treats Mel Kiper’s mock draft like a scripture.
– Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) February 25, 2021
Remember, the same people who were on Fields * Cough, Cough McShay and Kiper * were the same people who believed the future of the NFL was Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold
– Chuggs @ (@ChuggsVi) February 24, 2021
Totally ridiculous that Kiper would even suggest a TE at 4. Why? Because the 9s had kittle?
– Rough Country (@ doublearmbar1) February 25, 2021
Mel Kiper Jr. is an industry legend, but appearances are a memory: Godzilla is also a legend, but he stepped on Tokyo more than a couple of times.